“The Hungarian forint suffered the biggest decline against the U.S dollar year to date, of 23.36%, followed by the Romanian leu with 18.16% slump and Polish zloty with 18.02% drop. Currencies of non-Eurozone countries aren’t any weaker than the performance of the European currency against its US counterpart, showing that once again, investors are more concerned over these countries than over the euro zone”, said Victor Safta (photo), director of X-Trade Brokers Romania.

At end-2009, a dollar was traded for 188.38 forints and at the end of last week a dollar would cost 232.40 forints, marking a 23% depreciation of the Hungarian currency versus U.S dollar.

The leu suffered 18% slump, from 2.9507 lei/US dollar at the beginning of the year, to 3.4868 lei/US dollar last week, after hitting the record high of 3.5501 lei/dollar earlier this year.

“As for the effects of leu’s marked depreciation against the dollar, only now, the fuel price hike can be justified: over the past four weeks, the leu fell 7.51% against USD, while oil prices dropped by only 5.27%. If the national currency stays weak further on, fuel prices will soar accordingly. Despite the membership to European Union, we may see investments in dollar-denominated financial instruments rise, buoyed by the confidence in the American currency”, said Safta.

The Polish zloty was another hard-hit currency, that shed 18% year to date against the dollar, while the Czech koruna gave up 15.52%.

In 2010, the euro fell 15.1% against the US dollar, from 1,4300 EUR/USD at the beginning of the year, to 1.2140 EUR/USD last Friday.

“Financial markets know EU will step in to head off a more aggressive decline of the European currency in the event of a deepening of budget gaps. The stability of the euro is in peril, but although some analysts say that European Union should consider toppling the euro, I think that it would be a more complicated process and would consume much more resources than the support of the currency would”, said Victor Safta.

Turkish lira and ruble remain relatively stable against their U.S peer, compared to other EU currencies, having the same performance as the euro. The ruble fell slightly against the dollar, by 4.5% year to date, while the Turkish lira decreased by 5.47% YTD.